Good News – March 2018


On April 29, 2018 – or another Sunday that best fits their church calendar – hundreds of Nazarene churches across the South-Central Region, USA, will celebrate the covenant bond between their local church and Southern Nazarene University.

For almost three decades, pastors have faithfully set aside time in worship services across our four-state Region to specifically pray for SNU – her students, faculty, staff and administrators – recognizing the vital role Christian higher education plays in the life and future of the denomination.

SNU Sunday provides a unique opportunity to tell the good news about SNU to those who may not know that, as a member of the Church of the Nazarene, they “own” a university! Pastors continue to demonstrate incredible creativity in planning their celebrations – utilizing the video and other resources provided on the SNU Church Relations website – recognizing their current SNU students and alumni – and, most importantly, leading in a time of directed prayer.

An SNU Sunday celebration in your church can: raise awareness – demonstrate unity in mission – emphasize the sacred, covenant bond we share – and call God’s people to pray for each young person at SNU as they prepare to impact their world through a Christ-centered education.

Download the 2018 SNU Sunday Video and other great resources at today!


The Spring Pastor’s Forum, sponsored by the Resource Center for Pastoral Leadership at SNU, was a record-setting, fast-paced day of inspiration, information and relevant resources. In addition to a large group who gathered on the campus of SNU, over 100 pastors took part via live streaming at 15 host sites spread across the South Central Region.

Dr. Jim Fitzgerald, Chair of the SNU School of Theology and Ministry, presented Hungering and Thirsting for Righteousness – Resources for Preaching and Communion in the Holiness Tradition, a deeply thoughtful challenge to a new view of Communion, understanding the sacrament of Communion as John Wesley did – as a “means of grace.” Citing scripture and recalling our heritage and Nazarene traditions, he called for Communion to be a time of experiencing the sacrament in a fresh and powerful way in our churches.

SNU Pastor’s Forum 2018

Keynoting the morning gathering, SNU President, Dr. Keith Newman, gave an inspiring presentation of Live Last Leadership, based on Mark 9:33-37, calling pastors to let this scripture serve as a model for Christ-centered servant leadership. Dr. Newman outlined several of the characteristics of a Live Last leader, as well as team building, and setting an example for sacrifice and selflessness. He concluded with best practices for leading with inspiration, inclusion and appreciation.

In a unique afternoon session, the RCPL at SNU provided a free training session on church security assessment and prevention of, and response to, an active shooter. Also live streamed, approximately 200 participants heard from Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security certified instructor, Mr. Jim McBride, on low or no cost ways to improve security, how to write an Emergency Operation Plan and implement changes without distractions that alter the worship experience.

These three timely and relevant video resources are being made available by the Resource Center for Pastoral Leadership beginning Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Visit and click on ‘Resources.’

Another much-anticipated event took place recently on the campus of SNU – the annual PK Retreat. This year’s group of high school age pastor’s kids, a record number, was treated to a weekend of late night dorm life, fun activities, a musical presented by the SNU School of Music, and inspiring and hilarious stories from featured speaker, Adam Toler. Sharing from his father, Stan Toler’s, best-selling book, The Power of Your Attitude, Adam related the choices for positive living to his experiences as a PK, his years at SNU, and now, as a husband and dad of three small children. Urging them to choose a positive attitude as they face challenges, he shared that even in times of crisis, such as the recent loss of his dad, you can choose hope, humility, gratitude, generosity, compassion, and joy – with perseverance.

2018 PK Retreat

Pastors – plan now for your high school-age children to attend the 2019 PK Retreat. Watch for more information at


One of the most tangible ways SNU demonstrates that it is, indeed, a Great Commission University, is the SIMS (SNU in Missions) initiative. In just a few weeks, 79 SNU students and 10 mentors will be fanning out around the globe to serve alongside Christians in other cultures.

“SNU In Missions is dedicated to creating missional opportunities for our students around the world,” said SNU’s Campus Pastor of Missions and Service, Liliana Reza. “We are very excited about the new ministry opportunities added to SIMS 2018 by forming 12 teams that will serve in Brazil, Central Europe, Ethiopia, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Paraguay, South Africa, Swaziland and the USA.” Reza said.

SIMS in Swaziland, Africa 2017

With opportunities to engage in a wide spectrum of ministries, students find the experience life transforming. “SIMS has helped me clarify my call to missions and allowed me to see more of the world and experience cultures that I haven’t seen before,” said Emma Rhodes about her 2017 SIMS mission. Emma’s testimony is echoed by scores of SIMS alumni, such as Hannah Sparks, who said of her 2016 trip, “I served alongside missionaries in Paraguay and our team helped with the everyday ministries for six weeks.” “I’m pursuing a call to missions, and it allowed me to understand more about the life that God has called me to live.”

Students slated to serve this summer are working hard to raise the funds for their trip, as well as participating in training sessions to increase their cross-cultural awareness and develop practical ministry skills for their specific mission.

Reza observed that, “SIMS makes a life-changing impact on our participants and those they serve.” “When you partner with us, you directly support SNU students and the local ministries and missionaries we have continued to partner with over the years.” She concluded, “We covet your prayers as we continue to prepare to serve around the world!”

Support SIMS students with a donation today! Visit to make a secure gift online. Follow the SIMS Teams by joining their Facebook page at

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